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Comment Re:There's a lot more iron much closer... (Score 2) 162

And there's some twenty million tons of gold dissolved in the Earth's oceans. Jules Verne made it the source of Captain Nemo's incredible wealth.

To put twenty million tons of gold in perspective, all the gold that has ever been mined by humans totals up to about 180 thousand tons. To put in another perspective: sure, it's gold, but at a concentration of thirteen billionths of a gram per liter of seawater it's worthless unless you have unlimited time and energy to extract it.

That's the problem with asteroid mining in general. Until the cost of changing an object's momentum goes down drastically it's not worth doing. If Pysche were a 1000 kg block of pure, refined platinum (market price: $34 million) you'd be hard-pressed to retrieve it and return it to Earth at a profit. Which is not to say asteroid mining is a bad idea; but first things first: you've got to reduce the price of interplanetary propulsion by a couple orders of magnitudes. One thing that never happens in a sci-fi asteroid mining scenario is the hero worrying about running out of gas. Propulsion in stories is always practically limitless and free of charge. Real propulsion will never be that good, but it could get good enough.

Comment Re:Not impulsive at all (Score 4, Insightful) 1341

They're not stupid. They're just smug. Liberals in general got full of smug somehow. Gone are the days of men from working class backgrounds rising to power. Smug weenies rule the left in the USA. Their strategy in the face of the current distress seems to be, "We weren't smug enough. We need to pile on more smug".

Comment Re:Agrument in favor of modularity (Score 5, Interesting) 81

How much thickness do you think the extra outer layer of plastic adds to the phone? If it has to be more than a millimeter I would be surprised.

Personally, I think it has more to do with the fact the lithium ion batteries have a finite shelf-life than it does with thickness. That means in two years you need a new phone even if you never added any software to it and managed the battery recharging perfectly. Even if the phone had been sitting in a box all that time it'd have significantly less battery life.

Comment From TFA: (Score 1) 159

The patterns were a mishmash of unrelated structures that were as misleading as they were illuminating.

This pretty much describes the state of every branch of science after a major influx of new data. Just look at the maps of the world produced after Europe became aware of North America. Early maps sometimes show California as an island; and it's not because the cartographer is stupid; he just put the data at his disposal together into what was at the time a plausible conjecture. And in fact the problem might not even have been that he was ignorant. He may have misinterpreted some of the (at that stage) imprecise data he had to work with.

New information confounds. The detection and resolution of conflicts in data is arguably what science is.

Comment Re: Zuckerberg (Score 2) 282

Closest to the truth I've heard. From what I was told by family on one of the islands where haoles are about as rare as penguins. It's roughly translated to "without soul" apon first seeing white skin they thought they were ghosts. Apparently cook should never have brought turkeys or Hawaiians might not have gotten curious if white meat was also better when it came to people. The last part was me just speculating.

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